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Fries are a serious weakness for so many of us, aren’t they?
I mean, how can you go wrong with a crispy, golden slice of potato, or ten, or twenty?
When potatoes are involved, I know I usually think about frying them as my number one pick in terms of preparation. Are you with me?
Fries are called fries for a reason. But this beloved method involves a lot of oil. If you’re trying to be smarter and a little healthier about your potato intake, it’s time to switch up your fry game.
Ditch that oil-filled deep fryer (okay, go ahead and use it once in a while…) and turn on the oven instead. Thankfully, this method means that we can enjoy our favorite spuds much more often, without the guilt.
I used to be worried about oven fries. I thought the potatoes would never get as crispy as I wanted them to be, and the flavor would be sort of blah.
But on the contrary, my friends. Adapted from The New Best Recipe from the editors of Cook’s Illustrated, available on Amazon, a perfect recipe exists! It turns out all you need is the right amount of seasoning, some tasty garlic, and a good helping of Parmesan cheese to take these baked steak fries over the top.
Not to mention, you only need to turn on your oven to cook these instead of worrying about frying in batches and creating a hot and splattery mess. Life is so much easier this way.
When you are making this side dish, the key is to make sure that you soak those potato wedges for the full 20 minutes that is outlined in the recipe.
Make sure the water is nice and cold. By soaking the potatoes in water, you’re able to remove some excess potato starch. It’s this starch that can hinder the baking process, and it will prevent the potatoes from reaching their maximum level of crispness.
No one wants soggy fries. And this recipe turns out results that are golden and crispy.
Another tip to make sure your spuds come out perfect every time is to avoiding putting them in the oven too close together. Make sure you give those potatoes some room to breathe. If you need to, you can use more than one baking sheet.
Finally, make sure that you cut those wedges into even pieces. If you cut them unevenly, you will end up with some that are crispy and golden, some that are underdone, and some that are burnt.
On top of that potatoey goodness, you get a bonus flavor combo of Parmesan and garlic that’s baked onto the fries, and I think it’s just the best thing ever – aromatic, savory, and so flavorful. But if you decide you want to change things up, I have some tips for that at the end of this article as well.
You can dip them in ketchup or mustard, or even ranch dressing if you want. If you ask me, ketchup is the best dipping sauce possible for dunking any kind of potato, in my oh-so-humble opinion. But choose your favorite go-to!
The only question is, what kind of entree will you serve these spuds alongside? The good news is that this recipe goes with absolutely everything you could ever want to serve with fries. Recently, I’ve been enjoying the Parisian life right at home with my recipe for steak frites.
I will even substitute the usual side of roasted potatoes with this recipe when I’m feeling the desire.
If you like, you could even enjoy them all on their own. They’re that good.Print
What’s the perfect complement to any meal? Easy Parmesan garlic oven fries, of course. This side dish is simple to make, and full of flavor.
- 4 medium-sized russet potatoes
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for the pan
- 3 1/2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Slice potatoes into equally-sized wedges and place in a large bowl. Add enough cold water to cover, and 1 teaspoon salt. Set aside to soak for 20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 425˚F. Coat a rimmed baking sheet with olive oil.
- Rinse potatoes, drain in a colander, and lightly pat dry with paper towels.
- Add potatoes, olive oil, cheese, and garlic to a large bowl. Toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and continue to toss until evenly coated.
- Transfer to the prepared baking sheet in a single layer, without any overlap.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes, until golden and crispy, flipping halfway through.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: French Fries
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Sides
Keywords: Parmesan, garlic, potato, fries, oven-baked
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Grate Cheese, Mince Garlic, and Measure Remaining Ingredients
Grate enough Parmesan cheese until you have 3 1/2 tablespoons total.
Peel and mince two cloves of garlic. You can also use a garlic press for this step.
Be sure to scrub the potatoes well.
Measure out all of the remaining ingredients as listed on the ingredients list.
Step 2 – Prepare and Soak Potatoes
Place them in a large bowl and fill it with enough cold water to cover them. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt.
Let soak for 20 minutes.
While the potatoes are soaking, preheat the oven to 425˚F. Lightly grease a rimmed baking sheet with olive oil.
Step 3 – Dress Potatoes
Rinse and drain the potatoes, and pat them dry with paper towels.
Add them to a large, clean bowl with the olive oil, cheese, and garlic.
Toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss or stir to coat evenly.
Step 4 – Bake
Place the potatoes in a single layer on the prepared baking pan.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes. Flip the fries halfway through baking. They will be golden and crispy when they’re done.
Serve warm and enjoy with your favorite condiments!
Change Things Up If You Want To
For this recipe, the mixture of garlic, Parmesan, salt, and pepper is ideal. But if you have your own ideas for mixing things up, it’s super easy to do so.
If you like things spicy, consider adding a big pinch of cayenne pepper with the seasoning. You can also add some smoked paprika to give them a smoky element.
For more of that garlicky burn, consider upping the quantity of minced garlic as well. For fresh herbal notes, add chopped parsley, basil, rosemary, or tarragon.
Like a gooier cheesy experience? Swap out the Parmesan for shredded mozzarella. Craving a salty punch of flavor? Sprinkle some crumbled feta on top instead.
For more potato recipes to swoon over, check out some more of our favorites in the fries department next:
What do you love to dip your fries in? Tell us in the comments below, and be sure to come back to rate the recipe after you try it!
Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on September 13, 2010. Last updated February 20, 2020. With additional writing and editing by Allison Sidhu.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Meghan Yager
Meghan Yager is a food addict turned food and travel writer with a love for creating uncomplicated, gourmet recipes and devouring anything the world serves up. As the author of the food and travel blog Cake 'n Knife, Meghan focuses on unique foodie experiences from around the world to right at home in your own kitchen.